Cheltenham 4.10 (Cross Country Chase) tips – Ballyboker can bridge the gap with favourite

Cheltenham 4.10 (Cross Country Chase) tips - Rock to out-fox his rivals

Ballyboker Bridge

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Betting Tip: @ 12/1 with bet365

16:10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase, 3m6f (Cross-Country Course)

Last year’s 1-2-3: Rivage D’or, Any Currency (7/1), Uncle Junior (20/1) – 16 ran.

Who’s favourite?
Enda Bolger landed four of the first five runnings of this race after its inception in 2005 and he has a favourite’s chance of ending his six-year drought with Josies Orders, who has won both his starts over this unique track this season. The eight-year-old beat last year’s second Any Currency at the November meeting and followed up the following month when getting the better of Sire Collonges by two lengths, despite being carried left by that horse at the last. He was well beaten on his next start over hurdles at Navan but that result is almost irrelevant in the context of this race and, still unexposed in these type of races, he’s a worthy market leader. Top price: 5/2 general.

Who else is fancied?
The aforementioned Any Currency and Sire Collonges should again run their races but the biggest challenge to the favourite may come from
Balthazar King. A dual winner of this contest (2012 & 2014), he has not been seen out since crashing out in last season’s Grand National, when sustaining a life-threatening injury, but the now 12-year-old goes well fresh and will appreciate the drying ground.

And the rest?
Quantativeeasing is a course regular and did best in this race when finishing runner-up (albeit a distant one) in 2014, though he would surely have gone close to winning 12 months ago had he not been carried out when poised to challenge and going strongly after two out. He gives Enda Bolger a solid second-string. Ballyboker Bridge finished third behind Josies Orders in November and has since won over the banks at Punchestown, so he should again be on the premises on his favoured ground.

Trainer quote: “He will be a completely different horse on good ground, so Im hoping for a nice surface at Cheltenham. If it turns up like that, I think 12/1 is a big price.” – Peter Maher on Ballyboker Bridge.

Best bookie offer?
Paddy Power are refunding losing bets on the second horse home as a free bet up to £25.

What’s the verdict?
This a real Marmite race for punters and I’m no fan of it as a betting medium. However, the opportunity to say you’ve backed a festival winner (any winner will do!) is a strong lure and, while Josies Orders is the most likely winner barring any mishaps, a small each-way punt on BALLYBOKER BRIDGE could pay dividends.

SELECTION: Ballyboker Bridge each-way @ 14/1 Boylesports (1/4 odds, 1.2.3) Best Odds Guaranteed & money back if 2nd or 3rd to SP favourite

Betting Tip: @ 12/1 with bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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